« ZurückWeiter »
report; and, in the absence of the deputation, the Revs. J. Curtis and T. Boycott, and Mr. Finch, of Dudley Port, addressed the meeting. It is gratifying to record an increase in the amount of our public collections at Bilston. Last year, €4 163. was obtained; this, £8 108. Bilston.
J. STOKOE. FENCE SCHOOL TEA Meeting. MACCLESFIELD CIRCUIT.— The friends of our Fence Sunday-school, Waterloostreet, Hurdsfield, held their annual teameeting on Easter Monday, when up. wards of two hundred sat down to an ex. cellent tea. The room, which is a good one, was beautifully decorated with evergreens, mottos, and suitable drawings. After tea, our esteemed superintendent, the Rev. T. Waterhouse, was called to preside. Several pieces were recited by the scholars of a very interesting character. Addresses were also delivered by the chairman, the Rev. J. Ogden, and D. Oldbam, Esq. We were likewise favoured during the meeting with several pieces of sacred music, performed by a select choir. At the close of the meeting, our esteemed friend and brother Mr. T. Bullock favoured us with a number of very interesting views through the me dium of his phantasmagoria. The meet ing broke up a little after ten o'clock. Many have declared it to be the best meeting we have had for some years. I may state that as a Sunday-school we have passed through deep waters, owing to the prevalence of Unitarian principles. Many of our teachers and some scholars had imbibed these principles, which we considered very injurious, and acting as a great barrier to the spread of divine truth. Some time ago we determined to be without these characters. This was no easy task to accomplish. However, by the divine blessing, we have succeeded. Availing ourselves of a clause in the trust-deed affecting the doctrines to be taught in the school, which are bound by the said deed to be " according to the laws and usages of the Methodist New Connexion," we were enabled, at one of our meetings, to pass the following resolution :-" That those persons who believe not in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ be required to with draw from the school." This had the desired effect, though not without a loss of some scholars. But, thank God! we have begun to lift up our heads. Two and more can walk together agreed in sentiment and principle. As a school, we are in a better state now than we have been for years. Many of the young have joined the Church, and are hopefully converted to God. There are nearly thirty
teachers and scholars members of the Church, of which number seven are local preachers, and seven are leaders and assistant leaders. May the Great Head of the Church smile upon our institution, that we may indeed be a nursery for the Church.
PRESENTATION TO THE REV. THOMAS CLIFTON.-The friends at Brancepeth, entertaining a high esteem for the Rey. T. Clifton, both as a minister and a Christian, resolved on giving expression to their feeling by a testimonial. In pursuance of this object, on the 26th ult. a number of the principal friends of the Church were entertained by Mr. Isaac P. Love, when, after tea, a gold watch was presented to the rev. gentleman by Joseph Love, Esq., with the best wishes and highest esteem of the friends. After other friends had concurred in their assurances of the feelings which were in. tended to be conveyed, Mr. Clifton responded in the most appropriate terms, concluding his observations by remarking that he did not receive this testimonial as a mark of his improvement, being conscious he had during the past year devoted his attention, by far the greater part, to those studies which were to lay in him the basis of more extended usefulness in future years.
TESTIMONIAL TO THE REV. JOHN AND Mrs. Poxox.-On Monday evening, May 24th, a valedictory service was held in Scotland-street chapel, which was crowded by a respectable assembly, to present to the Rev. John and Mrs. Poxon a silver tea and coffee service of rich design and exquisite workmanship(manufactured by Messrs. Roberts and Slater, Furnival-street), as a token of the high esteem and affection in which they were both held by the Sheffield North Circuit. After the Rev. T. Rudge had opened the service by devotional exercises, Mr. James Gledbill was unanimously called to the chair, and, in a neat and appropriate address, introduced the object of the meeting. Messrs. Hallam, Taylor and Nash were then called upon, and severally stated their personal esteem for Mr. and Mrs. Poxon. The Chairman then rose, and, amidst the profound attention of the vast congregation, in very affectionate terms presented the testimonial.
When he had resumed bis seat, Mr. Poxon rose and acknowledged the kindness of the beloved people in a very feeling address.
Messrs. G. B. Fox, G. Walker, F. Newbury, the Rev. T. Rudge, and several others, subsequently addressed the meeting.
John Whittaker, Esq., of Hurst, near Manchester, brother to Mrs. Poxon, being present, was called for, and on responding to the call, he said "I feel, my dear sir, that it is a somewhat delicate thing for me to take any part in your meeting, on account of the special object for which you are convened, and the relation I stand in to Mr. and Mrs. Poxon. Still, I must say how pleased I feel that my brother. in-law and my sister share so tenderly and largely in the affections of this congregation, and if possible I feel still more thankful for the success that you, as a
Circuit, have been favoured with. Those are results that will reach beyond all time.”
Mr. Thomas Greaves intreated the congregation to imitate the example of the Church at Ephesus towards St. Paul, and commend their departing minister to the especial grace of Almighty God.
The doxology was then sung, and the assembly broke up at balf-past ten o'clock, all acknowledging that, for pious feeling towards a beloved minister, such a meeting had never been held in that place before.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The duties connected with our Conference, &c., have so completely occupied our time this last month as to leave no time for either reviewing or reading books. For the present, we can do no more than furnish our readers with the titles of the books forwarded for notice.
MethodISM, Past AND Present; being a Documentary and Historical Investigation of the Constitutional Princi. ples and Policy of Wesleyan Methodism. Pp. 76. London: Partridge and Oakey.
AN APPEAL TO TAE MEMBERS OF THE WESLEYAN METHODIST AssocIATION, Relative to Certain Arbitrary Proceedings of the Connexional Committee and Annual Assembly of 1851; in a Series of Lellers, with Introductory Remarks. By David ROWLAND. Reprinted from the Wesleyan Times. London : J. Kaye and Co.
TAE AGE AND THE CHURCH ; or, The Church Called to Exertion. By T. CARTWRIGHT. London: Ward and Co.
HEROES OF THE BIBLE; or, Sketches of Scripture Characlers. By W. S. EDWARDS. Pp. 352. London: J. Snow.
THE BRAND OF DOMINIC; or, The Inquisition at Rome Supreme and Universal. By the Rev. W. RULE. London: J. Mason.
Tue Revolt of TARTARUS. A Poem. By CHARLES HEAVYSEGE. Pp. 15). London: Simpkin and Marshall.
NOTES AND NARRATIVES OF A Six YEARS' Mission, principally among the Dens of London. By R. W. VANDERKISTE, late London City Missionary. Pp. 352. London: Nisbet and Co.
The Sailor's PRAYER - BOOK; a Manual of Devotion for Sailors at Sea and their Families at Home. Pp. 186. London: J. Snow.
THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. A Lecture addressed to Young Men. By John HUDSTOX. London: Our Book
LAY DELEGATION REJECTED BY THE vocate its claims. But the committee, EPISCOPAL METHODISTS OF AMERICA. in delivering their report to Conference, Some time ago we noticed the fact that recommended the rejection of the prayer a very respectable and extensive move of the memorialists, which recommendament had commenced among the Epis tion was adopted without discussion, and copal Methodists of America in favour of almost without any diversity of opinion lay representation in Conference. The --only three voting against it. This memorial of these reformers, carried by decision, however, is but a postponement a deputation, was laid before the General of the day; for as certain as the sun Conference which has just closed its sit will arise, the day will come when Scriptings in Boston. The deputation was tural truth and freedom will prevail, and received with due respect, and a com- Methodism itself must yield to their mittee appointed to hear the memorial, power. and the several speakers who had to ad
Want of space forbids us to insert any other events in the present Number.
NEW CONNEXION MAGAZINE.
DISCOURSES, ESSAYS, &c.
SIGNS AND REASONS OF THE LORD'S ABSENCE FROM
BY THE Rev. H. O. CROFTs, D.D. The truths set forth in the following discourse are well worthy of being seriously pondered by our Churches; and though a recent revival in some of our Circuits may render some admonitory remarks the less applicable in such instances, yet may they exercise a salutary influence upon all. Thank God, we hear of a gracious movement in various quarters, and hope it will soon spread to all parts of the Connexion ; but let not this movement be a spasmodic effort, a sudden awaking to be speedily followed by a season of slumber and lukewarmness. Let us live to God in constant devotedness, believing prayer, and laborious effort for the salvation of souls and the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom.]
WHOEVER attentively studies the Holy Scriptures must be fully convinced that the Churches of Christ have abundant reasons ever to expect the presence and blessing of God in their midst. The declarations and promises of the Divine Word are, on this point, explicit and numerous. Zephaniah says, “ The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Christ said to his disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment." Again he says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless." He also promises the Holy Spirit as the remembrancer and the testifier of himself. Just as Christ was about to ascend to heaven, he said to his Church, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” These citations prove that God dwells in his Church-that he is mighty-that he will save—that the Spirit is given to reprove, or convince, the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment - that he is to be the Comforter, and abide with the people of Christ for ever; and that Jesus, who possesses all power in heaven and earth, will be with his people in their efforts to evangelize the world, even unto the end of time. The primitive Christians experienced the truth of these promises : “Great grace was upon them all;" “ They spake the word of God with boldness.” “And the Lord added to the Church daily such as were saved." It is, therefore, abundantly evident that God was with the primitive Church in all his life-giving power and saving influences. But can such things be said of the Churches now? Does “great grace” rest “ upon all” the Churches of Christ in this day? Do all the ministers of Christ, in this age, “ speak the Word of God with boldness, and with great power give witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ?" Does “ the Lord” add to any Church, in this day, “ daily such as are saved ?" We trow not. Our grace is small; we speak the word of God with too much timidity: our testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is feeble; few, therefore, are added to the Church who are saved. It requires but little sagacity to perceive that God is not in the midst of the majority of his Churches, in all his life-giving power and saving influences.
God is never entirely absent from any of his Churches, even in this day; but instead of acting towards them as he did towards the primitive Church, he is, as Jeremiah states, “as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a nightmas a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save;" that is, he acts toward the Churches as a wayfaring man who has no interest in the prosperity of the country through which he passes; who does not trouble himself with the affairs of the land, but stays the shortest time he can, and then starts off again on his journey. So it is with God and many of the Churches in the present day. It may be easily ascertained when Jehovah is absent from his Churches, in all his life-giving power, by the following unmistakeable signs. He is so when
Vital piety is at a low ebb. Christ is the bread of life sent down from heaven, upon which the members of the Churches feed, and by which their spiritual life is preserved. The Holy Spirit is the great river of spiritual purity and refreshment which flows through the Churches, and at which the children of God cleanse and refresh their souls. While this living bread is profusely distributed, and this living water flows in abundance, believers grow rapidly in grace; and in their experience is fulfilled the sweet promise of Isaiah, “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." But wherever the life of godliness is low-when it becomes well-nigh extinct-when love to God is faint, when confidence in God is weak, when his commands are very imperfectly obeyed, and when his ordinances are often neglected, then it is evident that the bread of life is scantily furnished, and that the water of life is partially withdrawn. Or, in other words, it is only by the constant manifestation of the love of God to the soul that saints can increase in conformity to the moral likeness of Jehovah; and when he abides among his people as an intimate friend, then the piety of the Church abounds; it ascends to heaven like incense, and a pure offering, aceeptable to God by Jesus Christ. All the graces of the Spirit are then in active operation, producing those lovely fruits which are of good report both on earth and in heaven. But when God hides his face, shuts his ears, and withdraws his grace, then it is manifest that vital
piety has declined, the power of godliness dwindled into the form, and the spirit of religion is lost in the letter.
God is absent from his Churches, in his life-giving power, when there is but little zeal among his people for the extension of his cause. Zeal according to knowledge is one of the noblest Christian graces. Its surpassing excellence has been exhibited to the world in the person of our adorable Redeemer. He was clad with zeal as with a cloak. The zeal of the Lord's house ate him up. The excellency of Christian zeal has been highly culogized by the Apostle Paul, in that striking passage in the Galatians—" It is good to be zealously affected always in good." " Zeal is simply engaging in any action with all the heart and all the soul, with all the might and all the strength-the throwing of all our powers into that in which we are interested, and the occupying of ourselves in any work like those who love the work.” Such is zeal in the abstract; and from this definition it is apparent how immensely important it must be that such a quality as this should be consecrated to the service of God, and be brought to operate for the holy and noble purposes of eternity. When God dwells among his Churches, in all his life-giving power, imparting to them the riches of his grace, then his people are clothed with zeal as with a garment-all their talents, all their energies, all their influence, are strenuously employed in extending the knowledge of God, in securing the Saviour's triumphs, and in blessing the world with the glorious gospel. The sentiment of the Ohurch then is—
Too much to Christ we cannot give;
Too much we cannot do for him. But a want of zeal is a sure sign that Jehovah is not among his Churches in all his saving strength. For some cause he is withholding his Spirit's power; and the consequence is, that coldness, deadness, characterizes the operations of his people.
TVhen backslidings are frequent and numerous, God is absent from his Church in his life-giving power. When many are found turning from the paths of piety, and returning to the beggarly elements of the world, the flesh and the devil, it is a sure sign that God is, in a great measure, absent from his Churches, so far as grace is concerned. By this one sign, any Church or Churches may know that God has departed or is departing. It is by the gracious presence and Almighty power of God's Spirit that the sons and daughters of Zion are upheld, are kept from falling into sin and sorrow, therefore, when he withdraws the light of his countenance, and withholds his saving power, the members of Churches must slide back to their former ungodliness, must return to their old practices. We may strive to account for frequent and numerous declensions among the people of God in what way we please, but the faet shows that God has a controversy with his people there is something wrong somewhere—and we ought diligently to seek out the cause why Jehovah "hideth his face from the house of Israel.”
When conversions are rare, God is not among us in all his saving power. Wherever the Word of God is intelligently, plainly and faithfully preached—and wherever the Holy Spirit is present in his en. lightening, justifying, sanctifying operations—conversions to God will take place, must take place. “The law of God is perfect, converting the soul : the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statements of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the com